Total Meaningful Use Incentive Payments Could Exceed Projections

March 4, 2014 in News

Based on the latest CMS data, the meaningful use program could dole out more than the estimated $22.5 billion in incentive payments the agency expected to pay in total, Modern Healthcare reports.

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers that demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Since 2011, the program has paid more than $20.9 billion to 89% of eligible hospitals and 65% of physicians and other eligible professionals. A total of 4,477 of eligible hospitals have received more than $13.8 billion in incentive payments, while 342,643 eligible professionals have received about $7.1 billion.

In 2012, CMS estimated it would spend a total of $22.5 billion in incentive payments for all EHR incentive programs — a decrease from its 2009 estimate of about $27 billion.

According to Modern Healthcare, CMS already has paid out 93% of the $22.5 billion estimate.  Payments under the Medicare program are scheduled to continue through 2016, while incentive payments under the Medicaid portion of the program could continue through 2020.

The meaningful use program is not limited by a specific payment cap, meaning payment totals could exceed earlier projections, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 3/3).

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